Dalits Media Watch – News Updates 16.03.16


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Woman kills self as caste panchayat imposes penalty for ‘affair’ with Dalit – The Hindustan times


Tirupur Dalit murder: victim’s wife still traumatised – The hindu


Dalits face disparity in Ambedkar’s native state – Nyoooz


Police inaction led to murder of Dalit youth, says Stalin – The hindu


‘A PMK govt will fund education for the poor’ – The economic times


YSRC stages walkout over ‘neglect’ of Dalits – The hindu


Civil reps censure PHC verdict in women’s vote denial case – The nation news


‘Laws of Base Ball’ document could fetch $1 million at auction – The Tampa tribune


Budget’s pro-Dalit tilt in poll season no surprise – The tribune



The Hindustan times

Woman kills self as caste panchayat imposes penalty for ‘affair’ with Dalit


A mother of four committed suicide on Monday night after a caste panchayat at a Madhya Pradesh village issued a diktat aimed at punishing her for allegedly having extra-marital relations with a Dalit man.

The body of the woman, 36- year- old Laxmi Pal ( name changed to protect identity), was found hanging from a ceiling fan at her residence in Bajarua Khari village, Tikamgarh district. She reportedly took the extreme step while her husband, Rakesh, was holding a liquor party outside the house at the behest of the caste panchayat.

Village elders from the caste panchayat instructed Laxmi and her family to perform several tasks — including paying a fine of Rs 5,000, bathing in the Ganga river, and holding a liquor party for around 30 residents of the village — to atone for her ‘sin’. Besides this, Laxmi was also told to roll all the way to the Kundeshwar Shiva temple, located 12km from the village, to obtain forgiveness.

Sources said it all began when a few villagers accused Laxmi of entering into an illicit relationship with Rakesh’s co-worker, a Dalit youth from another village in the district.

A fortnight ago, she and her family were not invited to a wedding held at the house of another villager, Dhaniram Pal, because they believed she was “tainted”. Affronted, the family raised the matter before elders of the Pal community, and a meeting of the caste panchayat was conducted on Monday. BJP picks Bhaskar Sharma for Margherita seat in eastern Assam, Congress rakes up alleged “secret killing” by the former ULFA member.

The hindu

Tirupur Dalit murder: victim’s wife still traumatised


Two-days after her husband Shankar was hacked to death in daylight in a public place, S. Kausalya (19) who also suffered an injury on her forehead was recuperating in hospital. “But the girl who saw her husband die in front of her eyes is deeply depressed and frustrated,” a senior doctor in Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH) said.

Kausalya is in the intensive care unit where she is expected to remain for a day or two. Hospital authorities said that many persons met her and inquired about the incident on Monday which had added to her stress. The hospital authorities said she had rest without disturbance on Tuesday.

A senior hospital official said that they are planning to give her counselling on Wednesday to help her overcome the stress. A neurosurgeon will also examine her on Wednesday and then decide on the further course of treatment.

Permission denied

On Tuesday, a lawyer was allowed to meet her and interact with her for five minutes. Other activists who tried to meet her were denied permission, as the girl needed rest. A television journalist tried to interview Kausalya pretending to be an activist and was stopped by the hospital authorities. Policemen stood guard, since the threat on her life was still real.

On Monday night, various Dalit outfits and women’s forums protested at the hospital, as the hospital authorities did not allow Kausalya to see her husband’s body before it was taken away for the final rites. The last time she saw him was when they were both brought to CMCH from Udumalpet in the ambulance. He died enroute.

Hospital sources said that decision to disallow her to see the body was taken after considering her health condition. She was in a bad shape due to her injuries and the emotional trauma she had undergone, doctors said.


Dalits face disparity in Ambedkar’s native state


Summary: At least 28% parents said their children come to home to drink water and 15% parents say their children stay thirsty till school gets over. A recent survey by Dalit Adhikar Abhiyan, Madhya Pradesh, in collaboration with Action AID, states 92% of 30 villages surveyed don’t allow dalit students in schools to drink water on their own. And this happens in a state, where dalit icon Ambedkar was born.Not just students, 70-79% villages do not allow dalits in their village to drink or fill water from public water source like handpumps or wells. And 52% parents said their children refuse to go to school. They are also not allowed to touch food and are served from a distance at midday meal sessions.

Bhopal: A Dalit boy in Damoh district of Madhya Pradesh was drowned in a well while trying to fetch water after he was denied access to school hand pump to quench his thirst on March 8. A recent survey by Dalit Adhikar Abhiyan, Madhya Pradesh, in collaboration with Action AID, states 92% of 30 villages surveyed don’t allow dalit students in schools to drink water on their own. And this happens in a state, where dalit icon Ambedkar was born.Not just students, 70-79% villages do not allow dalits in their village to drink or fill water from public water source like handpumps or wells.

“Discrimination against dalits under 70 heads are covered by the survey,” said Swati Kaithwas, project officer, Action AID.In case of school students, 57% families admitted their children can only quench their thirst when non-dalit children serves them water from a distance. At least 28% parents said their children come to home to drink water and 15% parents say their children stay thirsty till school gets over. Students in age-group of 6-14 from 380 families and their parents were covered in the survey.In classroom, 79% dalit students sit in last row and 14 in middle and 42% families admitted their children are called by caste-based names by teachers.

The hindu

Police inaction led to murder of Dalit youth, says Stalin


Alleging that murder, burglary and sexual violence were on the rise in Tamil Nadu, DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin said the failure of the police department to act on the complaint of Kausalya had resulted in the murder of her Dalit husband Shankar in Udumalapet.

In a statement here, he said the murder of Dalit youth Shankar in a crowded place had proved that the law and order had gone beyond the control of the government.

He claimed that gun culture was breeding in Coimbatore, the Manchester of South India.

“People feel vulnerable and a sense of fear has engulfed the society. At least now the State Government should wake up to the reality and maintain law and order,” he said.

Significantly, Mr Stalin’s statement was silent on the DMK’s stand on murders triggered by inter-caste marriages involving couples belonging to the dominant Hindu communities and Dalits.

Enact law to prevent ‘honour’ killings: CPI (M)

Criticising the two Dravidian majors for not commenting on the Udumalpet ‘honour’ killing, CPI (M) State secretary G. Ramakrishnan appealed to all parties to rise above politics and enact a law to prevent such gruesome killings in the name of caste pride.

Though he did not want to politicise the issue, Mr. Ramakrishnan told reporters that he saw a pattern in the way the AIADMK and DMK acted politically. The two parties did not comment on the granite mining scam that rocked the State sometime ago.The two parties were in power in the 20 years when the illegal granite mining took place.

Likewise, when AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa was convicted in the disproportionate assets case, DMK leader M. Karunanidhi said he had nothing to offer in comments. Such instances revealed that the two parties were keen on ruling the State alternately, he claimed adding that the People’s Welfare Front has been formed to break the bi-polarity.

Later addressing reporters, he denied that it was political opportunism on the part of the CPI (M) to criticise the two Dravidian parties after being in coalition with them for the past 20 years. The CPI (M) tried hard to correct the two parties but failed and got frustrated.

Conviction rate in crimes against Dalits poor: H. Raja

The State government was not serious in pursuing cases of atrocities against Dalits and about 71 per cent of the accused have been acquitted, said the BJP national secretary H. Raja.

Addressing reporters at the airport, he said the government should step up its efforts to improve the conviction rate in cases against Dalits.

Govt. should take full responsibility: Vijayakant

Meanwhile, DMDK leader Vijayakant said the AIADMK government, which asserted in the Assembly that there were no honour killings in Tamil Nadu and hence there was no need to enact a special law to curb it, should take full responsibility for the murder of Shankar.

Manithaneya Makkal Katchi condemned the brutal murder of Dalit boy, Shankar, in Udamalpet recently by caste Hindus for marrying a girl from a dominant caste, on Tuesday. “The party condemns the barbaric act in strongest possible terms. The human kind can never accept such an act,” said the statement sent by M.H. Jawahirullah, president, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi. He also said that the increase in the number of caste-based killings over the years is a cause for concern. He also urged the National Commission for Scheduled Castes to play a proactive role. He said, “The National Commission for Scheduled Castes must recommend measures that would stop such killings in future.”

Shocking, says Elangovan

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president E.V.K.S. Elangovan said the audacious murder in a public space has shocked everyone. He said in recent times, such crimes were taking place continuously.

The economic times

‘A PMK govt will fund education for the poor’


Madurai: Commercialisation of education cannot be done away with and will continue, but if the PMK comes to power the government will shoulder the responsibility of fees for poor students admitted in private schools, the party’s chief ministerial candidate Anbumani Ramadoss said here on Monday.

Citing the system of education in Cuba, Madurai Kamaraj University College student M Ilayaraja asked Anbumani whether a PMK government will provide quality and free education to students. “The situation in Cuba is entirely different. To bring such a situation here, more time will be needed. If the PMK comes to power, its government will pay the fees of the poor students who are admitted in schools that fix fees based on their infrastructure,” said Anbumani.

At a party meeting, Anbumani talked on various subjects, stressing on ‘maatram, munnetram, Anbumani (change, development, Anbumani). Speaking of ending corruption, he asked, “people in Delhi did not want to be ruled by either the BJP or the Congress. Thus they opted for the Aam Admi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal. Why couldn’t such a change be brought by the people of Tamil Nadu?”

“Liquor and corruption were hitting families in the state hard. People want a change of government, but they forget their anger a day before the general election and this paves the way for either the AIADMK or the DMK to rule over them. People should wake up,” he said.

Anbumani said the PMK practised scientific politics and is equipped to give the state good administration because both the DMK and the AIADMK have learnt scientific corruption.

The PMK leader later interacted with the audience.

To a question, he said, “If the PMK comes to power, it will acquit convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case by using Article 161 of the constitution. On rape incidents, he said, “There are good laws in the land to curb the sin, but they are only on paper. The collector, the superintendent of police and the inspector are functioning as political party functionaries. In the last five years, 9, 980 murders took place and 1.05 lakh crimes took place. It shows the lack of law and order in the state,” he said.

Asked about the ‘honour’ killing of a dalit man in Udumalpet, he said, “The killing is condemnable. It showed the failure of law and order in the state. If law and order is proper, there will be no problem.

The hindu

 YSRC stages walkout over ‘neglect’ of Dalits


The YSR Congress staged a walkout in the Assembly on Tuesday charging the State government with neglecting the welfare of the Scheduled Castes even as Social Welfare Minister Ravela Kishore Babu announced that work on conversion of the social welfare hostels into full-fledged residential schools had begun.

The Minister said a committee of secretaries had been constituted for upgrading welfare hostels into residential schools and the panel was looking into various aspects of the issue. The Minister was replying to a query on the allocations made for social welfare and empowerment during the last two years during question hour. He said the government allocated around Rs. 3,200 crore for social welfare during 2014-15, of which, Rs. 1,900.66 crore was released and Rs. 1,613.85 crore was spent. Similarly, Rs. 2,124.61 crore was allocated during 2015-16 of which, Rs. 1,765.21 crore was released and Rs. 1,090.57 crore spent.

Leader of the Opposition Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, who intervened in the debate, said the allocations made and the funds actually spent exposed the ‘hollowness’ of the government’s claims on social welfare. The government had failed to effectively spend at least half the allocation made when the financial year was coming to a close.

In addition to making ‘paltry allocations’ for SCs in the Sub-Plan, the government was diverting funds from some of the flagship schemes like the Rural Employment Guarantee Act for taking up road works. Mr. Kishore Babu said the Government was awaiting release of dues amounting to Rs. 350 crore from the Centre.

The nation news

Civil reps censure PHC verdict in women’s vote denial case


islamabad – Civil society representatives have censured the Peshawar High Court’s overturning of Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision that had declared the Lower Dir bye-election null and void for lack of participation of women voters.

Civil society networks and platforms all across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Islamabad expressed their strongest protest at the court’s overturning the ECP’s decision of 2nd June 2015, which had declared null and void the Lower Dir PK-95 bye-election of 7th May 2015. The ECP had also withheld the notification of the highest polling candidate; and instead had ordered a fresh bye-election.

They in a statement said instead of considering the merits of the case and admitting the requests for impleading by the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) and women’s rights defenders as co-petitioners; and then hearing their substantive arguments and facts of the case, which the ECP did in May 2015, the PHC refused the requests and rendered its decision on the petition of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government coalition partner Jamaat-e-Islami (JI)’s highest polling candidate on a mere technicality.

In fact, this technicality is a highly contentious and controversial one i.e. the PHC has agreed with the JI candidate’s lawyer’s stance that the ECP “had overstepped its lawful authority and jurisdiction” in giving the judgement; and that this election petition should have been heard before an election tribunal rather than before the chief election commissioner and two commissioners, stated the activists.
This is not the first time that constitutional articles have been interpreted differently by lawyers, by various tiers of the judiciary, and by independent commissions such as the ECP.

However, it is indeed a serious setback to the zealously attained and preserved autonomy and independence of the ECP, and it could have far-reaching negative consequences in future elections or bye-elections.
They called the constitutional experts to seriously discuss whether or not the constitutionally-guaranteed autonomy and independence of the ECP has been wrongfully assailed, or whether the ECP had overstepped its authority and jurisdiction.  In fact, this is a vital case for the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) to exercise its suo moto powers.

This was a landmark case for Pakistani women’s rights activists and the PHC’s order is a huge setback to the constitutional provision and protection of women’s equal rights of political participation and universal franchise and Pakistani women’s ongoing struggle for gender justice.  Coming just seven days after the euphoria of the observance of International Women’s Day on 8th March, it is indeed a serious blow.
Women’s rights defenders expressed their intention to appeal against the PHC’s judgement in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, through a team of lawyers, led by Justice (Retd) Tariq Mahmood and Advocate Asma Jahangir.

The networks and individuals who endorsed the decision include Aman Tehreek, BKEF, EVAWG Alliance, ICDI, Insani Huqooq Ittehad, KP Civil Society Network (KPCSN), LAAS, PRHN, TDN, TNC, Taqrra Qabaili Khwenday (TQK), Ulasi Tehreek, Women’s Action Forum (WAF), Women Writers Forum (WWF), and by scores of individual human rights activists, lawyers and academicians in Islamabad, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA, Karachi, Multan and Lahore.

The Tampa tribune

‘Laws of Base Ball’ document could fetch $1 million at auction


Baseball historian John Thorn calls it baseball’s equivalent to the Dead Sea Scrolls. It’s a good parallel. The 159-year-old “Laws of Base Ball” that is headed to auction next month may not have the religious significance of the scrolls found in the Qumran Caves in the Middle East, but it does contain significant baseball literature.

Drafted in 1857 by Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams, the “Laws of Base Ball,” a fascinating 23-page document that is the blueprint for the rules of the game, is a highlight of SCP Auctions’ Spring Premier online auction that begins April 6.

The document established rules like 90 feet between base paths, nine players on the diamond and nine innings for the length of a game. Adams, the president of the New York Knickerbockers Base Ball Club (founded by Alexander Cartwright more than a decade earlier), were drafted for a convention in New York that was attended by representatives from 14 different clubs.

“It’s like finding a Holy Grail of handwritten pages,” said Terry Melia, SCP’s public relations director. “These are the rules that set baseball on its path to become our national pastime.”

Melia has seen and held the pages, as he was helping SCP’s videographer and photographer for a publicity video and photo shoot. If it was me holding those pages, I’d be shaking in my boots — it would be similar to handling a T-206 Honus Wagner, a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle or a 1966 Topps Don Mossi. Oh, wait, I have the ’66 Mossi. I still tremble when I hold it.

“Was I trembling? No,” Melia said of the “Laws of Baseball document. “But I was in awe of these pages. So much of the game’s history started with these pages.”

SCP believes this document could fetch more than $1 million at the auction, which ends on April 23. In a release, SCP said that through the company’s research efforts and that of Thorn, Adams should be the one credited with those rules; those milestones have been credited to Cartwright and are even engraved on his Hall of Fame plaque in Cooperstown.

“When Doc Adams set to work in late 1856, none of these aspects of the game were settled,” Thorn said in the same release. “This was some seven years after Cartwright had left New York for Hawaii, never to return. For his role in making baseball the success it is, Doc Adams may now be counted as first among the Founding Fathers of Baseball.”

The papers came to light in a 1999 auction for non-sports manuscripts. At the time, the author of the documents was unknown. They were purchased by a bidder from Texas — sight unseen — for $12,650. They languished in a desk drawer for 17 years until the owner decided to enlist SCP to research its origin.

“When we started to peel back the layers of information held within these documents – and their origin and purpose was revealed – we were overwhelmed by the gravity of their historical significance,” said Dan Imler, vice president of SCP Auctions.

It’s rare to find documents that detail the beginning rules of the game. Dr. James Naismith’s 1891 Original Rules of Basketball were sold to wealthy University of Kansas graduates David and Suzanne Booth through Sotheby’s for $4.3 million in December 2010, which at the time was the most money ever paid for a piece of sports memorabilia. Josh Swade’s 2013 book, “The Holy Grail of Hoops: One Fan’s Quest to Buy the Original Rules of Basketball” tells that story in great (and entertaining) detail.

The 1859 Original Rules of Soccer sold for $1.4 million to an anonymous bidder in 2011 by the Sheffield Football Club. How much Adams’ document will fetch is hard to determine right now.

“It’s difficult to put a value on an object of such singular importance but we feel it is worthy of a substantial seven-figure price,” Imler said. “We have previously sold a 1920 New York Yankees jersey worn by Babe Ruth for $4.4 million dollars, but if not for this document we may have never known Babe Ruth.”

“No earlier baseball manuscript of this significance has ever come onto the open market,” Thorn wrote in his blog, “Our Game.

“1857 was the year that baseball made its great leap forward, and these are the documents that reveal what it was like to be present at the creation,” Thorn wrote in his “Our Game” blog.

Bidding is open to registered bidders only. For more information, call SCP Auctions at (949) 831-3700 or go to the company website. SCP has a video that advertises the auction.

The tribune

Budget’s pro-Dalit tilt in poll season no surprise


It seemed to be a day to lure the Dalit community in the state. If the BSP chief Mayawati and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal were in Doaba to play the Dalit card, the ruling SAD-BJP government too did not lag behind in wooing the SCs of the state today by announcing an array schemes for them in the Punjab budget today.

The announcement of allocation of Rs 100 crore corpus as SC scholarship fund to be given to the universities and institutes on behalf of the SC students and doling out of interest-free study loan of upto Rs 5 lakh for the youth from economically weaker section is being seen as a step in the same direction.

Akali CPS and SC leader Pawan Tinu, who has been raking up the issue in Assembly, makes his point. “We know that the Dalit students in Doaba have been sufferers owing to delay of disbursement of funds, especially since a recent judgement in favour of the college managements. The state contribution for Centre’s Post Matric Scholarship Scheme stood at Rs 68 crore for six years even as the number of beneficiaries under the scheme had risen from 35,000 to 3.75 lakh. I had been pressing for some relief for them in one way or the other. Now Punjab government would be able to disburse the funds to the colleges from this corpus till the time Centre releases its grant. After the funds reach the colleges, this amount would be withdrawn.” He even hailed the starting of interest-free loan scheme for poor students.

Congress MLA from Banga Tirlochan Singh Soondh, however, termed the announcement as just as another lollipop. “It will meet the same fate as the government’s other welfare schemes including shagun scheme. The SAD-BJP MLAs including Som Parkash, Nirmal Singh and Pawan Tinu have themselves admitted to corruption in the SC Post Matric Scholarship Scheme. This government only wants the poor people to keep standing before them asking for atta-daal, uniforms and books and ultimately would give out nothing”, he reacted.

AAP leader and Dalit activist Paramjit Singh Kainth too alleged that it was a gimmick to play with the sentiments of the Dalits, who comprise one-third of the voters, in the election year. “Were they sleeping for nine years when the 5000 dummy SC admissions were happening for siphoning off of funds?”, he commented.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET


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